Janet Roots For Compulsory Cassava Growing In Karamoja

drugs geneva; font-size: small; line-height: 200%;”>The proposal was contained in a speech read on her behalf by the State Minister for Karamoja Affairs Barbra Nekesa Oundo during the 5th Karamoja Integrated Development Policy meeting during the weekend.

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The meeting, the first of its kind to be held in the Karamoja region, was at Moroto District Chamber hall on Tuesday and attracted Ministers, Resident District Commissioners, district local leaders and development partners among others.

The Minister, who explained that in the area of food production, the people of Karamoja have made progress, said that if the decision for every home to grow cassava and potatoes is promulgated, Government will increase investment in this area and development partners will be required to support the initiative. Every local government will be required to ensure implementation of this, she added.

“In order to consolidate gains made so far, our priorities remain food production and ensuring that people have food to eat even during the dry season, water for both production and consumption. Others include to improve service delivery especially health and education, strengthen peace, security and promoting the general wellbeing of the people of Karamoja.”

Janet said that her office was in the process of procuring 14,000 hand hoes that will be distributed especially to the IK and Tepeth communities adding that the two ethnicities did not benefit from the just concluded tractor hire scheme.


She said that by God’s grace Karamoja was continuing to receive favourable rains and appealed to the leaders to encourage the communities to take advantage of the second rains by planting short term maturing crops as well as tubers like cassava and potatoes.

Food production in Karamoja is only undertaken in the first season when the rains are reliable. However farmers who have irrigation facilities could carry out production throughout the year.

Janet said that during her recent visit to Mt. Moroto Hotel, she found out that with irrigation, they produce vegetables throughout the year which are consumed at the hotel and rest sold in the market .

Therefore, in order to avoid food stress during the prolonged drought and dry season, she stressed the need to seriously embark on small scale irrigation around the villages in the sub region.

“As a first step, my ministry plans to use high yielding boreholes and valley dams to carry out irrigation in some sites”, she said and encouraged all actors to invest in irrigation wherever it is feasible.

The minister called on all districts and technical staff of the environment and water ministry to ensure that standard designs are available and used.

Janet directed the staff in the Karamoja ministry and all districts to develop an atmosphere to harmonize all investments in valley tanks to ensure equity and proper coordination.

She said if the facilities are not maintained and properly looked after, the investment will be put to waste and value for money will not be realized. She said that in the next financial year, the districts with completed valley dams shall be required to have budget lines for maintenance of these facilities.

She said as an investment to improve livelihoods and household incomes for the Karimojong , animals will be procured for the vulnerable women, youth and elderly, milling machines distributed to groups at parish level and sewing machines to groups and institutions.

Mrs. Museveni thanked those who have continued to join hands in the development of the region saying that the condition of living in Karamoja is much better today than it was four years ago.

“Our duty now is to remain focused, keep the momentum for change and ensure that ordinary people are actively engaged as the true drivers of progress”, she urged.

Among the recommendations by the 5th KIDP meeting was the Local Governments to prioritize the operations and maintenance of Valley Tanks/Dams, the leaders of Karamoja to work out modalities to identify the persons responsible for trafficking children, Government to invest on internal security roads and along international borders to facilitate the management of security and formulation of ordinances banning Enguli alcohol.

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